After UM-Wisc, the B1G West division race is wide open

Submitted by Communist Football on October 14th, 2018 at 9:58 PM

After Wisconsin's loss to Michigan, there are four teams in the B1G West with one loss: Northwestern (3-1 conf, 3-3 overall); Wisconsin (2-1 / 4-2); Iowa (2-1 / 5-1), and Purdue (2-1 / 3-3). 

The way divisional tiebreakers work is: (1) head-to-head result; (2) if three or more teams are tied, the teams' conference records are compared against each other, and then you go back to (1) if that leaves two teams, or look at divisional records if it leaves more than two teams.

Right now, Wisconsin has a head-head edge having beaten Iowa, with @NW (10/27) and @Purdue (11/17) remaining on its schedule, along with a visit to Penn State on 11/10.

Iowa plays at Purdue (11/3) and hosts Northwestern (11/10), and visits Penn State on 10/27.

Northwestern has the easiest conference schedule upcoming, hosting Wisconsin (10/27) and visiting Iowa (11/10), and also plays ND on 11/3.

Purdue hosts Iowa on 11/3 and Wisconsin on 11/17, and plays OSU on 10/20 and visits MSU on 10/27.

So, to me, if you're interested in the West division race, the Northwestern games against Wisconsin and Iowa will be the key ones, as Northwestern has the easiest B1G schedule remaining. Purdue has the toughest schedule remaining. I'd have to say Northwestern and Wisconsin have the inside track of these four teams.

So if Michigan were to manage to get through its remaining opponents—a big "if", we all know—it could be looking at a rematch either way.



October 14th, 2018 at 10:15 PM ^

Is it just me or does the BIg Ten West occasionally remind anyone of the pre-expansion NL West, where it seemed like, at least sometimes, it was never decided until very late in the season because no one seemed to actually want to win the division? Maybe I am off base here, but our sister division looks like that. 

Ghost of Fritz…

October 14th, 2018 at 10:21 PM ^

Wisconsin will win the West.

But I tell you what.  OSU got off easy on cross division games this year.  They do not play Iowa, Wisconsin or Northwestern, the three best teams. 

The best West Division team they play is Purdue, a team with three losses already, a decent offense, but a bad D.  They also play the two worst teams in the West, Nebraska and Minnesota.

OSU also played a weak out of conference schedule.   

If M wins out, then M will probably have a rematch against Wisconsin. 



October 15th, 2018 at 12:24 AM ^

NW run the table?  The same NW team that lost to Akron, and really should have lost to Nebraska, the worst team in the B1G? (because we all agree that Rutgers is not actually in the B1G)

NW is fine.  Not great, maybe not even good, but they're fine. 

And I'm confused by people thinking that Wisconsin is really not that good as a result of our game.  I mean, they're not a top 10 team but we knew that before the MICH game.  They still will handle NW and Purdue.


October 15th, 2018 at 1:31 AM ^

Sorry, but Northwestern isn't good. They are ranked right around Nebraska on S&P+ now. 29 spots lower than Purdue. They are near the bottom of the conference when their play is measured on a per-play basis. That's not an indictment of Michigan, who just happened to have a crap first quarter on the road against a team that isn't going to give up quick points. But NW isn't running the table. They have very little chance of challenging ND. 


October 15th, 2018 at 12:07 AM ^

I don't know if an 11-1 ND team would need a lot of chaos to get into the playoffs.  There are a ton of games left between teams with 1 loss.

West Virginia still has to play Texas and Oklahoma.  Then the top 2 teams in the Big 12 play in the title game.  The Big 12 champ could be a 2 loss team.

Georgia and Florida still have to play each other and then the winner will more then likely play in the SEC title game.  LSU and Alabama still have to play each other as well as one of them probably playing the SEC title game.  

In the ACC, unless NC State has an historic season, their hopes for a berth are resting entirely on Clemson's shoulders.

In the Pac-12 you have 3 one loss teams left - Oregon, Wash St and Colorado.  Oregon and Wash St play this weekend, and Wash St and Colorado play later in the year.  Both Wash St and Colorado still have to play Washington.  If Oregon doesn't win the Pac-12, it will almost assuredly be a team with 2 or more losses.

By the time the dust settles after the weekend of the conference championship games, there will probably be very few teams with 0 or 1 loss.

Charlestown Chiefs

October 14th, 2018 at 11:24 PM ^

I'd love to see Wisconsin win all their remaining games except vs PSU, have Northwestern win all of them except Wisconsin, and Barry Alvarez's head explode when they go 7-2 in conference and Northwestern wins the West going 8-1.  It would be such poetic justice for his whining 2 years ago about having to play such a tough schedule (UM, MSU, and OSU that season).  You know who plays all those teams every season?  The rest of the Big Ten East division.  


October 14th, 2018 at 11:46 PM ^

The formula for Barry Alvarez's Rose Bowl teams was...

1.  Lose to Michigan

2.  Not have to play one of the top teams in conference (Ohio State once, Penn State twice)

3.  Play all possible bottom feeders and pitiful non-conference schedule.  

It's not becoming to publicly complain about Wisconsin playing a tough schedule for the first time in 15 years.  That's just embarrassing yourself. 

I have to respect him turning the Badgers from a 100 year dumpster fire to what they are today.  But he has the tendency to be annoying.  Like before the '97 game when he complained about Keith Jackson and Bob Griese calling the game because he said Bob was going to report back to Brian on everything the Badgers were running in practice.  Shut up, Barry.  

Perkis-Size Me

October 15th, 2018 at 10:55 AM ^

You’re probably right, but if Tua is injured for any extended period of time, that definitely limits their offensive abilities. And their defense isn’t as good as it normally is. LSU may catch them at the right time. 

Dont get me wrong: most anyone Bama plays would be a massive underdog regardless of whether Hurts or Tua are back there. But if Tua is out for a while or isn’t the same player when he comes back (big ifs for sure), then there is a chink in the armor. 


October 15th, 2018 at 9:04 AM ^

Well, Chase said it’s a revenge tour.  And we beat Wisconsin and NW this year, Purdue last year... so obviously we will be revenging 2016 Iowa on December 8, 2018.   

Arb lover

October 15th, 2018 at 10:12 AM ^

So it really still looks like a race between Iowa and Wisconsin. Both have NW (Iowa at home) and Penn State (both away) with similar odds of winning NW and not winning Penn State.

Purdue isn't getting through their schedule without at least 2 more B1G losses unless you really like the dark horse candidate- they really are one.

While Northwestern may have the easiest remaining schedule, they aren't favorites for either Iowa or Wisconsin. It's not even close.


Perkis-Size Me

October 15th, 2018 at 10:50 AM ^

How much emphasis is placed on divisional wins vs. just conference wins in general? For example, let’s say Iowa won out, and Wisconsin won out for every game except Penn State. Who wins the division between them and Iowa?

Wisconsin has the head to head over Iowa and it’s only in conference losses are to Eastern division opponents, but they end up with more conference losses.


October 15th, 2018 at 3:13 PM ^

I think it'll be Iowa. Really like how they're playing. They have to kicking themselves for letting that Wisconsin game get away. As it is, the need to be +1 over Wisky the rest of the way which will require a win at HV.